Spice up your spices and take full advantage of their flavor by grinding, crushing or heating them.
Spices — the bark, roots, seeds or berries of certain plants — pack the biggest flavor punch when they’re whole, but biting into a whole clove, coriander seed or cinnamon stick is not a pleasant experience. Breaking their outer surface – in a food processor, coffee grinder or crushing them with the side of your knife – helps release the flavor without the added texture or overpowering bite.
Once they’re ground or crushed, heating your spices in a dry (no water or oil) sauté pan over medium heat will deepen their flavor. It’s also a great way to refresh spices that have been sitting in your pantry for a while. Be careful to heat them only until they’re aromatic – when you can smell them, they’re done. Get them out of the hot pan before they burn.